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03-29-2008, 03:02 PM
  #37
leesmith
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JF, let me play devil's advocate for a moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Good retort Bob. It basically says what I believe... that until we make the playoffs EVERYONE, including Hitch and Howson, have something to prove.

Plenty of blame to go around... here's some for Hitch:

Hitch has said and done some things that I don't agree with.
He waffles for one thing. For example: he makes a big deal several times about how Z and Nasher can't play together. Then who does he pair against Nashville?
Do Hitch's line assignments really matter? You could find Nash playing with almost anybody at SOME point in a typical game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Second example: He talks openly about goalies needing confidence. The he smirks and says "no comment" about Freddy No's holding Nashville to 2 goals. That was bush league. And one of the goals was a clear deflection. Don't tell me he didn't know that. He knew. His video guys report everything to him during the game.
So he should have spared his ego by answering the question and blasting him in public? The second goal buried us and that was all Freddy. There were several other chances Nashville SHOULD have scored on but did not. Other teams have backup goalies that can come up and play just as well as the starter. We need the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example three: Coach complains about us having AHLers on the roster. But he repeatedly says that he lets Scott Howson make the personnel decisions. Does anybody really believe Hitch is THAT hands-off about personnel? And if he IS hands-off, then he's not as good a coach as some would have us believe. Man-up coach. Tell Scott and John H who you want (which you SHOULD have done last summer, last Fall and before the deadline. (Please don't insult my intelligence by saying Hitch doesn't make personnel decisions).
Hitch influences personnel decisions, but certainly doesn't make them. As Hitch has commented when XGMDM was here, it's the coach's job to get the most out of the players he's given by the GM. This is where you could assign blame to Hitch - in shootouts and on the nights where the players didn't seem interested in competing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example four: Vyborny's crappy crappy season. Coach protected him, made numerous excuses for him. Yet WHO DOES HE ALLOW TO BE TRADED? Fedorov who was having a good season with us. (Please again....do not insult my intelligence by saying Hitch doesn't have a say in personnel with Howson).
Of course Hitch protected him. Would blasting Vybes in public for sucky play make him break out of his funk any faster? And I'm sure Vybes would have been traded if anybody of value would have been offered for him. You don't know that Howson had offers and I don't know that he didn't, but I strongly suspect Howson had no takers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example five: Brule and Brassard. Coach said Bru was better off playing in the AHL and yet allows him to stay up and continue to suck. Coach said they wouldn't play Brassard til he was ready, and that when he was up "he was up for good." Hello! Coach says "confidence" is an important factor in dealing with our young guys. But his moves with Bru and Brassard contradicted what he said.
This is a clear example of Hitch and Howson not being on the same page. Brule was called back (by GMSH) too soon. Hitch painted himself into a corner with his comments about Brassard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Example six: Who else got sick and tired of Hitch saying "we're still in this!" Is there anybody up here who HONESTLY thought we were still in this 5 games ago when Hitch was still selling that kool-aid? I've been asking in posts for Hitch to breath more fire. Instead, Hitch has sounded like a church pastor.
What did you expect him to tell his players five games ago? We're out of and have nothing to play for, but go give em hell boys?!? I'm glad that he admitted yesterday that we're out of it.

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Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
Final example (though I could mention plenty others): Coach says "the minute you trade Shelley you're out looking for another guy like him." So he repeatedly scratches Shelley and let's Howson trade him without replacing him. Coach says "team toughness" is not about fighting. He talks a good game about toughness. But nobody who's watched the Jackets would ever accuse them of being tough. In fact, we're STILL soft and everyone in the league knows it.
I won't argue this. It seems that even with Shelley, and was proven again last night, we can either be tough or effective, but not both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKETfan View Post
We gave Hitch a pass all year because of his pedigree. So now he's had more than a season and several player acquisitions to prove himself. Yet his "defense first" approach has produced a horrible offensive output. Ok...I can hear his sycophants gearing up to defend him as if "Hitchcock" is a lock for the HOF. But last I looked, he was fired from Philly and hired by the lowly Blue Jackets who are once again NOT in the playoffs.

We are a mere 8 pts out of the playoffs. That's four games we should have won... but didn't because Hitch has been unable to solve the offensive puzzle.

JF CONCLUSION: Coach it is also you YOURSELF who has not put this team in a position to score.
I'm holding my opinion on Hitch until upper management stops sending him into a gun fight with a pocket knife and expecting miracles.

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